Removing Tar Paper From Hardwood Floors With Mineral Spirits


I am remodeling a hardwood floor with tar paper on it. Currently I am using a scrapper and a heat gun to remove it. Is there a better way?



Dear Craig

You can try odorless mineral spirtis, and if that fails lacquer thinner. And lastly Goof-Off ( Squirt the solvent under the paper and try pushing it off with a good quality putty knife.

If all that proves ineffective try a safe paint stripper (Citristrip at Also read my article on this great stuff in the Floored News section. But as a last resort you can use some of the more dangerous methyline chloride strippers, just leave the house as the stripper does it’s work.

And you really must be diligent about removing all this tar paper. It may be glued with an asphalt cut back adhesive, and these can never be sanded off, because of the asbestos concern. It may be best to have it tested for asbestos before you get much further.

As always your Most humble servant, Joseph, the Wood Floor Doctor.